Disappointing Adult Cruise On The Dream

I’ll throw in my .02, why not…

First off, we love DCL, we really do. I am Platinum and DW is already Pearl.

We also love cruising in general. We have sailed most major cruise lines a number of times, though admittedly, we have not sailed either NCL or Celebrity.

As I am writing this. I am currently on Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady. This is my 4th Virgin Voyages cruise, and honestly, it is quickly becoming our favorite line (though we like DCL as mentioned before as well as Princess). Virgin is unique among lines in many ways that I think the OP may enjoy.

First, it is an 18+ cruise. You definitely notice the absence of children and teens.

Second, most everything sans alcohol is included upfront, including all gratuities. You never are expected to tip anywhere on the ship. Your fare is higher upfront and that goes into paying the crew a much better wage so that they do not have to be dependent on tips. I know this is a more "British" way of doing things (thanks Richard Branson!), but I much prefer it. Additionally, this extends to everything. For instance, when one buys a $10 cocktail at a bar, it really only costs you $10, not $11.80 (after adding an 18% gratuity). This also means you don't have to sign for everything, which I also enjoy (Princess has this feature as well if you do their "Plus" package).

Third, Wifi is included in your fare. And it works.

Fourth, there is no MDR, but there is also no "upcharge" Specialty Dining. It's all Specialty Dining, and it's all included. Also, soft drinks are included, such as on DCL.

Fifth, like Princess, Virgin utilizes an RFID enabled wearable as your roomkey, etc. All you have to do is tap.

Sixth, there is a hammock on every balcony. Before our first VV cruise, i had thought it a gimmick, but it really is amazing and makes me wonder why more lines dont have them.

Seventh, all in-room Movie options are included (and a big library to choose from!). None of that $12 to watch a Movie in your stateroom (looking at you, RCCL).

Eighth, the "private island" area Beach Club at Bimini is very well done. I line that it incorporates pools very well. The food is amazing on-island as well. Additionally, you can use your…

Ninth, the "Bar Tab". VV does not have a drink package. You can either purchase or through promotion acquire a Bar Tab that can be used for drinks. On our current cruise, we had $300 in promotions for our Bar Tab. What is nice about this is that, unlike lines where you feel you have you drink as much as you can to get your money's worth, you can just go about what you normally would do. So, for instance, on a port day, where you are not on the ship that much, you may not even have one drink. However, that means you may not feel as bad splurging on that bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape the next night…

Tenth, the shows are great, and dare I say, IMHO, Duel Reality is the best show on any ship I've been on. (If you are wondering, the honor of the worst show I've ever seen on a ship…. that goes to CATS on Oasis OTS)…

Eleventh, as a child of the 1980's, i very much appreciate that they put an Arcade on each ship. And I appreciate that all those machines are free. Yes, you can recapture your youth on a tabletop Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga machine!

Finally, and quite frankly the biggest differentiator about VV is the quality of the food. I'm not saying it's Victoria and Albert's or something like that, but it is consistently very good to excellent. Everything is freshly prepared. Even the buffet area is not a buffet, but rather more of a food court idea where
you have the food made for you there.

I will say, that as much as we have cone to like Virgin, it's probably not for everyone, but I'd definitely give it a try. I'll also back up what a number of posters have said about DCL in that you may have a very different experience on the Magic/Wonder. FWIW, the Magic is our favorite DCL ship and much of that is due to the layout and how it handles crowds.

All this said, everyone's tastes are
different, so you really just have to make your own decisions about what you like and dont like.
 
I’ll throw in my .02, why not…

First off, we love DCL, we really do. I am Platinum and DW is already Pearl.

We also love cruising in general. We have sailed most major cruise lines a number of times, though admittedly, we have not sailed either NCL or Celebrity.

As I am writing this. I am currently on Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady. This is my 4th Virgin Voyages cruise, and honestly, it is quickly becoming our favorite line (though we like DCL as mentioned before as well as Princess). Virgin is unique among lines in many ways that I think the OP may enjoy.

First, it is an 18+ cruise. You definitely notice the absence of children and teens.

Second, most everything sans alcohol is included upfront, including all gratuities. You never are expected to tip anywhere on the ship. Your fare is higher upfront and that goes into paying the crew a much better wage so that they do not have to be dependent on tips. I know this is a more "British" way of doing things (thanks Richard Branson!), but I much prefer it. Additionally, this extends to everything. For instance, when one buys a $10 cocktail at a bar, it really only costs you $10, not $11.80 (after adding an 18% gratuity). This also means you don't have to sign for everything, which I also enjoy (Princess has this feature as well if you do their "Plus" package).

Third, Wifi is included in your fare. And it works.

Fourth, there is no MDR, but there is also no "upcharge" Specialty Dining. It's all Specialty Dining, and it's all included. Also, soft drinks are included, such as on DCL.

Fifth, like Princess, Virgin utilizes an RFID enabled wearable as your roomkey, etc. All you have to do is tap.

Sixth, there is a hammock on every balcony. Before our first VV cruise, i had thought it a gimmick, but it really is amazing and makes me wonder why more lines dont have them.

Seventh, all in-room Movie options are included (and a big library to choose from!). None of that $12 to watch a Movie in your stateroom (looking at you, RCCL).

Eighth, the "private island" area Beach Club at Bimini is very well done. I line that it incorporates pools very well. The food is amazing on-island as well. Additionally, you can use your…

Ninth, the "Bar Tab". VV does not have a drink package. You can either purchase or through promotion acquire a Bar Tab that can be used for drinks. On our current cruise, we had $300 in promotions for our Bar Tab. What is nice about this is that, unlike lines where you feel you have you drink as much as you can to get your money's worth, you can just go about what you normally would do. So, for instance, on a port day, where you are not on the ship that much, you may not even have one drink. However, that means you may not feel as bad splurging on that bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape the next night…

Tenth, the shows are great, and dare I say, IMHO, Duel Reality is the best show on any ship I've been on. (If you are wondering, the honor of the worst show I've ever seen on a ship…. that goes to CATS on Oasis OTS)…

Eleventh, as a child of the 1980's, i very much appreciate that they put an Arcade on each ship. And I appreciate that all those machines are free. Yes, you can recapture your youth on a tabletop Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga machine!

Finally, and quite frankly the biggest differentiator about VV is the quality of the food. I'm not saying it's Victoria and Albert's or something like that, but it is consistently very good to excellent. Everything is freshly prepared. Even the buffet area is not a buffet, but rather more of a food court idea where
you have the food made for you there.

I will say, that as much as we have cone to like Virgin, it's probably not for everyone, but I'd definitely give it a try. I'll also back up what a number of posters have said about DCL in that you may have a very different experience on the Magic/Wonder. FWIW, the Magic is our favorite DCL ship and much of that is due to the layout and how it handles crowds.

All this said, everyone's tastes are
different, so you really just have to make your own decisions about what you like and dont like.
Oh my God! You’re making me so excited for our first Virgin sailing coming up in eight days! You point out the things that we are looking for to mainly the food. I’ve heard so many people rave about virgin especially Disney adults who say they’ll never go back to DCL. They really have a different concept that seems to work. I hope they meet our expectations on Athens Croatia sailing on the 26th

The interesting thing is, we also have the Disney dream booked mid July I’ve never done a report. Maybe I’ll do a comparison since bith sailings will be fresh in my mind.

My mom is just worried she’ll be the oldest on the virgin sailing she’s 73 lol. But I think she’ll enjoy watching the younger crowd. She’s been watching YouTube videos getting a good laugh.

Oh, and BTW: our family also suffered through cats on the oasis. I felt bad because the cast was great and the production was great but the story was just cringe. I seriously wanna know was everyone on cocaine in the 80s when this was a huge Broadway hit.?? After 20 minutes we left it was that bad
 
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I’ll throw in my .02, why not…

First off, we love DCL, we really do. I am Platinum and DW is already Pearl.

We also love cruising in general. We have sailed most major cruise lines a number of times, though admittedly, we have not sailed either NCL or Celebrity.

As I am writing this. I am currently on Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady. This is my 4th Virgin Voyages cruise, and honestly, it is quickly becoming our favorite line (though we like DCL as mentioned before as well as Princess). Virgin is unique among lines in many ways that I think the OP may enjoy.

First, it is an 18+ cruise. You definitely notice the absence of children and teens.

Second, most everything sans alcohol is included upfront, including all gratuities. You never are expected to tip anywhere on the ship. Your fare is higher upfront and that goes into paying the crew a much better wage so that they do not have to be dependent on tips. I know this is a more "British" way of doing things (thanks Richard Branson!), but I much prefer it. Additionally, this extends to everything. For instance, when one buys a $10 cocktail at a bar, it really only costs you $10, not $11.80 (after adding an 18% gratuity). This also means you don't have to sign for everything, which I also enjoy (Princess has this feature as well if you do their "Plus" package).

Third, Wifi is included in your fare. And it works.

Fourth, there is no MDR, but there is also no "upcharge" Specialty Dining. It's all Specialty Dining, and it's all included. Also, soft drinks are included, such as on DCL.

Fifth, like Princess, Virgin utilizes an RFID enabled wearable as your roomkey, etc. All you have to do is tap.

Sixth, there is a hammock on every balcony. Before our first VV cruise, i had thought it a gimmick, but it really is amazing and makes me wonder why more lines dont have them.

Seventh, all in-room Movie options are included (and a big library to choose from!). None of that $12 to watch a Movie in your stateroom (looking at you, RCCL).

Eighth, the "private island" area Beach Club at Bimini is very well done. I line that it incorporates pools very well. The food is amazing on-island as well. Additionally, you can use your…

Ninth, the "Bar Tab". VV does not have a drink package. You can either purchase or through promotion acquire a Bar Tab that can be used for drinks. On our current cruise, we had $300 in promotions for our Bar Tab. What is nice about this is that, unlike lines where you feel you have you drink as much as you can to get your money's worth, you can just go about what you normally would do. So, for instance, on a port day, where you are not on the ship that much, you may not even have one drink. However, that means you may not feel as bad splurging on that bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape the next night…

Tenth, the shows are great, and dare I say, IMHO, Duel Reality is the best show on any ship I've been on. (If you are wondering, the honor of the worst show I've ever seen on a ship…. that goes to CATS on Oasis OTS)…

Eleventh, as a child of the 1980's, i very much appreciate that they put an Arcade on each ship. And I appreciate that all those machines are free. Yes, you can recapture your youth on a tabletop Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga machine!

Finally, and quite frankly the biggest differentiator about VV is the quality of the food. I'm not saying it's Victoria and Albert's or something like that, but it is consistently very good to excellent. Everything is freshly prepared. Even the buffet area is not a buffet, but rather more of a food court idea where
you have the food made for you there.

I will say, that as much as we have cone to like Virgin, it's probably not for everyone, but I'd definitely give it a try. I'll also back up what a number of posters have said about DCL in that you may have a very different experience on the Magic/Wonder. FWIW, the Magic is our favorite DCL ship and much of that is due to the layout and how it handles crowds.

All this said, everyone's tastes are
different, so you really just have to make your own decisions about what you like and dont like.
Now you’re making my wife and I want to try V V! This sounds like the upscale kind of experience we’ve come to expect from cruising. I love your analogy re the food. We don’t expect Victoria and Albert’s (ha!) either, just very good to, at times, hopefully, excellent. That shouldn’t ever be an impossible ask, but, I guess, why should DCL ever up their game if everyone for the most part is already satisfied, or just doesn’t prioritize food quality? And many people think the food on DCL is already fine, and everyone is of course entitled to their opinion.

Yes, I really do wish we’d been on the Magic/Wonder, where the experience might have been more up to our expectations.
 
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Here is a sample of the food:

Pink Agave:

Street Corn
IMG_1474.jpeg
Enchiladas:
IMG_1473.jpeg
Cheese covered Ancho Ribeye (so good):
IMG_1475.jpeg
Bread Pudding:
IMG_1476.jpeg
 
The Wake:

Clam Chowder:
IMG_1487.jpegIMG_1488.jpeg
Wedge Salad:

IMG_1489.jpeg
Filet (w/ roasted garlic):
IMG_1490.jpeg
Twice Baked Potatoes:
IMG_1491.jpeg
“The Wake” mousse dessert:
IMG_1492.jpeg
 
Now you’re making my wife and I want to try V V! This sounds like the upscale kind of experience we’ve come to expect from cruising. I love your analogy re the food. We don’t expect Victoria and Albert’s (ha!) either, just very good to, at times, hopefully, excellent. That shouldn’t ever be an impossible ask, but, I guess, why should DCL ever up their game if everyone for the most part is already satisfied, or just doesn’t prioritize food quality? And many people think the food on DCL is already fine, and everyone is of course entitled to their opinion.

Yes, I really do wish we’d been on the Magic/Wonder, where the experience might have been more up to our expectations.
Thanks for posting -enjoyed your review - very interesting. I'm a big Celebrity fan. As much as I LOVE Disney parks, the reviews - good and bad- clearly show DCL cruiseline is NOT for me! I keep saying I'm going to try other lines beyond Celebrity, (only tried Princess and NCL.)

I looked into VV - read reviews, saw blogger videos- sounds nice in many ways. But the deal killer for me is entertainment - particularly their DJs/music. I cannot tolerate continous electronic, Latin and hip hop, which are their main choices, so that's a big NOPE for me! :crazy2: (No insult intended to fans of those genres.)

I keep coming back to Celebrity, as it's my perfect fit.
 
Thanks for posting -enjoyed your review - very interesting. I'm a big Celebrity fan. As much as I LOVE Disney parks, the reviews - good and bad- clearly show DCL cruiseline is NOT for me! I keep saying I'm going to try other lines beyond Celebrity, (only tried Princess and NCL.)

I looked into VV - read reviews, saw blogger videos- sounds nice in many ways. But the deal killer for me is entertainment - particularly their DJs/music. I cannot tolerate continous electronic, Latin and hip hop, which are their main choices, so that's a big NOPE for me! :crazy2: (No insult intended to fans of those genres.)

I keep coming back to Celebrity, as it's my perfect fit.
Celebrity is our favorite cruise line. We love all their ships, both Edge class and its predecessors. We always pay a little more for Aqua class because we love eating in Blu.
 
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Which ship are you on? On the 26th we board the resilience.? my mom and I are looking forward to the Mexican restaurant
We are currently on Valiant Lady.
Thanks for posting -enjoyed your review - very interesting. I'm a big Celebrity fan. As much as I LOVE Disney parks, the reviews - good and bad- clearly show DCL cruiseline is NOT for me! I keep saying I'm going to try other lines beyond Celebrity, (only tried Princess and NCL.)

I looked into VV - read reviews, saw blogger videos- sounds nice in many ways. But the deal killer for me is entertainment - particularly their DJs/music. I cannot tolerate continous electronic, Latin and hip hop, which are their main choices, so that's a big NOPE for me! :crazy2: (No insult intended to fans of those genres.)

I keep coming back to Celebrity, as it's my perfect fit.
The entertainment on this ship has been fantastic. Duel Reality is the best show I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship, hands-down.

Not sure what you are getting at about techno-music, they had some of that on the island today, but it was only at one of the pools. The other pool was much quieter (and had a swim-up bar). Needless to say, if that is your worry, I think that type of music can be easily avoided.

Haven’t tried Celebrity, but it usually prices out higher than Princess, and we really like Princess, so tend to stick with them.
 
Oh my God! You’re making me so excited for our first Virgin sailing coming up in eight days! You point out the things that we are looking for to mainly the food. I’ve heard so many people rave about virgin especially Disney adults who say they’ll never go back to DCL. They really have a different concept that seems to work. I hope they meet our expectations on Athens Croatia sailing on the 26th

The interesting thing is, we also have the Disney dream booked mid July I’ve never done a report. Maybe I’ll do a comparison since bith sailings will be fresh in my mind.

My mom is just worried she’ll be the oldest on the virgin sailing she’s 73 lol. But I think she’ll enjoy watching the younger crowd. She’s been watching YouTube videos getting a good laugh.

Oh, and BTW: our family also suffered through cats on the oasis. I felt bad because the cast was great and the production was great but the story was just cringe. I seriously wanna know was everyone on cocaine in the 80s when this was a huge Broadway hit.?? After 20 minutes we left it was that bad
Going on our fourth VV cruise in November, last November we went with my parents in their 70s, they had a great time! Everything said up thread about food, love pink agave, etc, is spot on. Big shout out to the happenings cast, they are awesome.
Now you’re making my wife and I want to try V V! This sounds like the upscale kind of experience we’ve come to expect from cruising. I love your analogy re the food. We don’t expect Victoria and Albert’s (ha!) either, just very good to, at times, hopefully, excellent. That shouldn’t ever be an impossible ask, but, I guess, why should DCL ever up their game if everyone for the most part is already satisfied, or just doesn’t prioritize food quality? And many people think the food on DCL is already fine, and everyone is of course entitled to their opinion.

Yes, I really do wish we’d been on the Magic/Wonder, where the experience might have been more up to our expectations.
Try it! I am DCL platinum, I have been on DCL cruises sailing with and without our kids…I would probably only sail on DCL now if our kids were going. If it was just adults, would pick virgin. I also am not a fan of the tipping envelopes scenario on DCL, very much appreciate how it is done on virgin.
 
Proof that vacations are entirely subjective, two YouTubers I folllow didn’t like Virgin at all. But someone I follow on instagram loves it. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
 
Proof that vacations are entirely subjective, two YouTubers I folllow didn’t like Virgin at all. But someone I follow on instagram loves it. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
Who are they? Curious what their view is would love to watch before our trip
 
Celebrity is our favorite cruise line. We love all their ships, both Edge class and its predecessors. We always pay a little more for Aqua class because we love eating in Blu.
i keep saying I'm going to try aqua one day, just to dine in Blu, but it seems Aqua cabins aren't really the best locations on ship...usually higher up and over noisier public areas vs nestled in-between two levels of cabins. But I consider it every time!
 
Not sure what you are getting at about techno-music, they had some of that on the island today, but it was only at one of the pools.
I've heard from many who took the 5 day Miami port Virgin cruises (who love it and continue to sail VV) that the dominant music on the ship - by the pools, in the public areas, as well as on the island, is mostly hip hop, techno and latin. I'm only going by what they're saying, as I have zero first person experience. But that would really be painful for me, lol:rotfl:
 
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Haven’t tried Celebrity, but it usually prices out higher than Princess, and we really like Princess, so tend to stick with them.
I liked Princess too! I think the food quality on Celebrity is quite a bit better and the service is a bit more elevated/attentive, at least from my own experience on both. They are higher priced though. Right now, all the cruiselines seem crazy high to me: making up for their lost covid years -- prices are through the roof.
 
i keep saying I'm going to try aqua one day, just to dine in Blu, but it seems Aqua cabins aren't really the best locations on ship...usually higher up and over noisier public areas vs nestled in-between two levels of cabins. But I consider it every time!
I think it depends on the ship. On the Edge class, I’m pretty sure we had an aqua class cabin, with cabins both above and below.
 
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Don’t shoot the messenger, but I’ve been told by 30 year olds that their experience on VV was more like an upscale carnival crowd, very clubby at night, some risqué outfit choices and could tell there was some of the pineapple crowd. They did not enjoy the cruise. I only cruise DCL.
 

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